Dallas ISD probe critical of Kimball coaches, recruiting

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by BRETT SHIPP

WFAA

Posted on November 7, 2012 at 10:53 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 7 at 11:52 PM

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NEWS 8 INVESTIGATES

DALLAS — What started as a News 8 investigation into the alleged recruiting of one star player for a state championship team has evolved into a blistering indictment of the entire athletics department at the Dallas Independent School District.

DISD's Office of Professional Responsibility on Wednesday released the results of its own six-month investigation, based on the News Eight investigation.

Our investigation, which was broadcast last May, profiled one of the top basketball players in the nation, Keith Frazier. It outlined the story of how his mother moved him from Irving High School to Dallas Kimball just days before the 2011 basketball season started, and how he went on to help Kimball win the state championship.

Our investigation revealed not only holes in the mother's story of why she moved from Irving, but of how almost every player on Kimball's state championship team was a recent transfer, and that some of the players still lived outside of the district.

The internal DISD investigation not only confirms what News 8 had reported, it goes further in uncovering "a concerted attempt by a few parents, teachers, school administrators, coaches and District athletic administrators to tacitly recruit students into the various athletic programs in the Dallas ISD."

The report also finds:

  • Frazier's mother broke her lease to move to Kimball
  • Frazier's sister said she had to move for her brother's career
  • Kimball's head coach knew that "select league basketball teams are being used to recruit athletes to schools”

Other Dallas ISD coaches cooperated in the investigation and bolstered the allegations.

Said former North Dallas High School Athletic Director, Claire Oliver, "I know that recruiting goes on in DISD," said former North Dallas High School Athletic Director Claire Oliver.

"There's a system of underground recruiting that happens," Molina High School head football coach Charles Deville told investigators, adding, "...recruiting in Dallas has been a problem from the first day I came here."

Kimball head basketball Coach Royce Johnson declined to discuss the report with News 8. Johnson did tell district investigators, “I have never went into the homes of any student to recruit them to come to Kimball.”

But another Kimball coach has already been fired this year after being caught trying to recruit this mother's 8th grade son.

"He even told me there were some new houses out there near Kimball they could help me get into,” said Helen Delaney, the athlete’s mother.

Among other violations brought to light in the report:

  • Coach Johnson let an AAU team use Kimball's gym in violation of DISD policy
  • A commercial banner was displayed in the gym in violation of DISD policy
  • DISD's Athletic Director allegedly told the district's UIL rules compliance director "not to attend meetings"

All of our attempts to question DISD athletic officials on any issues have always had the same result: "No comment."

DISD officials also declined comment on Wednesday, saying they are not finished reviewing the report findings.

But new Superintendent Mike Miles has already taken partial action on preliminary findings by firing one Kimball coach and revamping policy.

E-mail bshipp@wfaa.com

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